The remote work world is booming. Business executives at Fortune 500 companies frequently make high-profile deals from the comfort of their home offices. It’s safe to say that Covid changed the modern work world forever.
The new virtual work dynamic is an excellent opportunity to save money, improve staffing options, and boost employee satisfaction. However, it also comes with unique challenges.
In this article, we examine the ins and outs of managing a remote team and discuss what it takes to hire the best people for any job.
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How to Hire a Dedicated Team for Virtual Business
Remote hiring is the same as bringing people on for a brick-and-mortar job. There are a few things that can be different. Below we highlight considerations that are specific to remote work.
Choose Your Tools Carefully
A good tech stack is always essential, but never more so than remote work environments. Here, the tools you select correlate directly with your workflow’s effectiveness. You want to choose software to make communicating and collaborating easy.
Often, this is easier said than done. There are many great tools, but getting them all plug-in together can be challenging.
Your tech stack needs to blend fluidly, allowing each tool to communicate seamlessly with the next. Making this work requires tech fluency that not every business owner possesses. If you want to ensure the tools you select are good, consider hiring a business consultant.
These freelancers can come in, evaluate your goals, and connect you with digital tools that support what you are trying to accomplish. This core consideration will enormously impact your business’s trajectory, so take your time figuring it out.
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Focus on Telecommunication in the Interview Process
If your team is to be completely digital, you should make that clear from the start. Some candidates may be great at working in an office but may feel ill-adapted to a fully remote work life. Think about asking remote-specific questions as you interview new candidates.
Do you have experience with X (name your preferred digital communications tool)?
Are you comfortable with Y? And so on.
Several years out of the pandemic, you’ll find that most people are experienced enough with virtual work to have no problem adapting to your work-from-home model.
Still, it’s good to ensure everyone is on the same page at the very start.
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Focus on Onboarding
Onboarding is always essential, particularly in a remote work environment. Every team collaborates a little bit differently. Ensuring new hires understand your workflow’s nuances without oversite and in-person consultation becomes essential.
Take your time introducing new team members to how your business operates. Strong onboarding efforts correlate directly with your retention rate, so take it seriously.
Decide How You Want to Oversee Work
It’s widely agreed that high levels of employee oversite aren’t essential. Most people report feeling more comfortable working independently and at their own pace.
Indeed, this is a big boon for remote work. Everything is done independently, providing the employee with an unprecedented level of freedom and flexibility.
That’s a good thing, but you should still determine how you will evaluate and monitor work. Be it with check-ins or extended features in your communication tools, lay out your expectations and ensure that everyone understands how they will be monitored and enforced.
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Follow Up Regularly
Implementing some oversite is easy when everyone is in the same space. This could be as simple as asking an employee how they are fairing. While no one likes having their boss breathing down their neck, most people report feeling their employer cares about them.
While it’s hard to demonstrate this organically in a tiny space, you should still seek out opportunities to chat with all of your employees. Ask them how they are fairing with the job. Is there anything they would like to see change? Or, heck, how are their kids?
The average worker reports that they trust strangers more than they do their boss. If that dynamic doesn’t spell turnover, what does? You can flip the script on that situation simply by being thoughtful.
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Work on Team-building
One of the significant shortcomings of virtual workspaces is that forming close connections with coworkers becomes very hard. Every business has its solution for this. Some, for example, establish designated chat spaces where coworkers can chew the fat.
The extent to which these efforts are practical will vary from business to business. However, they do have a built-in shortcoming. They are electives. In the office space, employees have no choice but to spend time with one another.
They sit side by side in meetings. They share lunch breaks and use the same bathrooms. There’s a forced element of intimacy that can be naturally conducive to friendship.
Ok, sure. But is that really how it typically goes?
Not always. There’s no accounting for the strange alchemy of human relationships. A group with great chemistry may hit it off regardless of how they collaborate.
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Remote work gives them an excuse not to. It’s easy to plow ahead and focus on productivity over everything else when working from a back room in your house.
And while this may serve the short-term fine, the entire company is losing out on valuable team-building opportunities in the long term.
You can’t force everyone to become best friends. You can work on giving your team members opportunities to get to know one another.
Consider baking icebreakers and minor team-building exercises into all of your meetings. While these methods are infamously corny, there are some fun, creative ideas out there that businesses are using to foster workplace friendship.
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The Benefits of Virtual teams
Virtual teams may be all the rage, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are right for you. What does everyone see in these virtual workspaces, and are they right for you?
Virtual Teams Can Be Made Up of Anyone
You are a St. Louis-based company.
We are located in—
The greater St. Louis area. And it’s an excellent town. It is. The Arch a phenomenal zoo and one of the best library systems in the country. What’s not to like?
But there’s a problem. It’s not exactly tearing up the charts regarding population records. There was a time, about one hundred and fifty years ago, when the rivers still dominated domestic trade, when St. Louis took advantage of its position on the
Mississippi is the third biggest city in the country.
Those days are in the past. Today, you’re looking at a population of around 300,000. What are the chances that an entire team of the best people for the job live within driving distance of your St. Louis-based business?
Virtual workspaces allow businesses from all over the country to commanding global talent. You’re not left choosing between the handful of people willing to drive to your office. Instead, you can globalize the appeal of your positions and find the very best people for the job.
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Reduce Your Overhead
Since Covid-19, businesses have been looking at ways to reduce their overhead. For two years, their big fancy offices sat empty, and the world didn’t end (except in the general way that Covid made it feel like the world was ending for everyone).
Some companies cut the cord on their leases entirely and went completely digital. Others pivoted into shared or temporary workspaces. An entire market of buildings now allows you to rent offices, along with all the necessary equipment, by the day.
The savings potential is astronomical. Paying for physical space is one of the highest overhead costs for businesses. Cutting it from the equation with a virtual team is an enormous boon.
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Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
While pulling the plug on your lease, you eliminate one of your business’s most significant carbon emission contributors. You’re eliminating two of them:
- Commute: In the United States, the average person drives to and from work for thirty minutes. If you have a team of ten people, you are ridding the world of ten hours of auto-related emissions each day.
- The building itself: Buildings use a lot of energy. If you can eliminate the need for one, it will help you reduce your business’s energy consumption. You’ll also carve a nice chunk off your energy bills as a bonus.
Even if you don’t care about the environment (and, of course, you do), there are still benefits to protecting it as a business. The public likes supporting companies that align with their values. Demonstrate that you are a company that cares about mother earth, and it might just win you some new customers.
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Employees Like It
Covid-19 dispelled all of the myths circulating the idea of remote work. The tech to switch to a digital workspace has existed for years, but businesses have hesitated to pull the trigger because they worried it would diminish productivity.
While not everyone had the same experiences with remote work, it’s fair to say that the “productivity myth” was overwhelmingly shot down.
People found they could finish their work quicker by sparing their commute, tedious meetings, and small talk. And they liked it!
Quality of life considerations, like remote work environments, shortened weeks, and so on, are beautiful to job seekers.
Pivoting into a remote workspace will help you attract new talent while appeasing your existing team.
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A Potential Con?
That isn’t to say that the virtual work world is all sunrises and rose gardens. Some complications can arise from taking your team online.
- Unnecessary interruptions. Everyone’s seen it. Kids are playing in the background of a vital zoom. A barking dog. A coworker who can’t figure out how to take themselves off mute. Spotty internet connections…The list goes on and on. These are productivity killers that don’t exist in physical locations.
- They diminished team bonding. Coworker relationships are a significant attraction when it comes to employee retention. People like to stay at places where their friends work. Most survey respondents say they think more about their friendships than potential salary increases when deciding where to work.
Unfortunately, forming those types of bonds in a small space is difficult. Businesses everywhere are trying to tweak their communications to make it easier to foster friendships. However, nothing has been able to replicate the experience of spending forty hours in a confined space with someone.
Most businesses that have pivoted into remote work solutions have found that the pros outweigh the cons. However, these remain pain points to be aware of.
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It’s a lot. It’s ok. You don’t have to say it. We already know. Establishing a remote team from the ground up is a significant undertaking. But while it may feel overwhelming on the front end, most people find that the rewards more than justify the effort.
The ability to attract world-class talent while saving money only exists thanks to today’s digital collaboration technology. It’s an ample opportunity not to be ignored.
Hopefully, the tips described in this article will serve as a valuable reference point that you can use to inform your virtual hiring decisions.
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Hello Friends! I am Himanshu, a hobbyist programmer, tech enthusiast, and digital content creator.
With CodeItBro, my mission is to promote coding and help people from non-tech backgrounds to learn this modern-age skill!